- By Jenna Kunze
WASHINGTON — Wearing a traditional ribbon skirt embroidered with corn and butterflies, Madam Secretary Deb Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico was ceremonially sworn in as the 54th Secretary of the Department of the Interior with an oath administered by Vice President Kamala Harris.
On one side of Haaland were her two sisters, Zoe and Denise. On her other side, holding the Bible, was Haaland’s daughter, Somáh Haaland. Harris and Haaland, along with Haaland’s family, clapped when the oath was completed. Harris said “History is being made yet again.” Haaland responded, “thank you.”
The short ceremony was live streamed on Somáh Haaland’s instagram account around 11 a.m. Thursday morning.
Six guests were present at Secretary Haaland’s ceremonial swear in, identified by the Office of the Vice President. On Haaland’s list were her partner, her two sisters, two friends and her daughter Somah Haaland, who livestreamed the event over her Instagram page.
Haaland was officially sworn in as Interior Secretary on Tuesday, March 16 in a small ceremony with family. The oath was administered by Chief of Staff Jennifer Van der Heide.
“I am proud and humbled to lead the dedicated team at Interior as we seek to leave a livable planet for future generations,” Haaland said in a statement released by the Interior Department. “Together, we will work to advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes, address the climate and nature crises, advance environmental justice, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation.”
Haaland was confirmed by a 51-40 Senate vote on Monday, March 15. She resigned her role as congresswoman representing New Mexico on Tuesday, according to officials. Her new role as Secretary of the Interior—tasked with managing and conserving most federal land and natural resources, leading the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, and managing tribal relations—makes her the first Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. histor
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later
EXCLUSIVE: Deb Haaland Q&A on Road to Healing Tour Progress
September 20 is National Voter Registration Day: Native Organizations Team Up to Increase Native Youth Voter Engagement
Tribal Business News Round-Up: Sept. 19
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.